About Schmidt – Edited
Warren Schmidt [Jack Nicholson] is 65 year old recently retired insurance actuary, who’s looking at life emotionally numbed. Soon after retiring, his wife dies unexpectedly: Warren also has to deal with finding out his wife had an affair with his best friend. Warren signs up, for $22./month, to sponsor a young boy in an African orphanage, in hopes of getting more meaning into his life. Soon after burying his wife, Warren sets out on a cross country trip, in the new RV he and his wife had purchased for their retirement. His numbed emotions are poured out into letters he writes to the child he’s sponsoring in Africa. Warren’s daughter is planning her marriage to Randall, a water bed salesman, and he tries to disuade her marrying. When Warren arrives for the wedding, after taking a long trip in the RV, he meets Randall’s divorced parents. Roberta [Kathy Bates], Randall’s mother, is a free-talking woman who makes it very clear to Warren that she’s available for him. At the wedding, Warren stands up and shares his thoughts and good wishes to his daughter and her new husband. In forgiving his friend for the affair, realizing he was powerless over the choice his daughter made in her life partner, and pouring out his feelings and thoughts in the letters to the child in Africa, Warren finally comes to a semblance of contentment. This edited version has been provided and edited by Family Flix.
This is an adult drama-comedy. All of the objectionable elements noted above have been totally nuked out of this family-friendly version. I found Warren Schmidt’s character a sad commentary on the Great American Dream: work hard, get a nice house, have a family, retire. Warren worked very hard, but never found any meaning in his life until after he retired and he lost his wife. Then, he began looking out and doing something for someone else: the child in Africa. There are very touching scenes, when you realize how Warren has gradually changed into a man with a heart, who cries in the end, when his orphan child sends him a drawing of two stick people: a man and a child holding hands. This is not a movie for children, due to themes they wouldn’t grasp. With the offensive language and other elements removed, this is thoughtful, soul touching fare that I recommend.